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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4085 ..

To provide further confidence, Canberra Metro and CAF have now developed an enhanced inspection regime, which will continue until the root causes of the Sydney issues are known. This will involve a full check of the relevant components across the entire Canberra fleet, which will be completed within three months. Undertaking this rolling program of inspections will mean that we can keep our LRV fleet operating as normal, so that we can keep providing the great services that Canberrans have come to love as we head into the festive season. This is a sensible and measured approach in a context where no cracking has been identified to date either through the detailed inspection of our oldest LRV or regular maintenance checks on the rest of the fleet.

The National Rail Safety Regulator, Sue McCarrey, has advised the ACT government:

The ONRSR are investigating the issues in Sydney. ONRSR has confirmed that the light rail vehicles in Canberra are a different design to those in Sydney. We are not investigating Canberra LRVs further at this time.

The fact that CAF’s advice to us aligns with the information they are required to provide to the national regulator is reassuring and provides a level of external oversight and verification. The regulator is continuing to monitor the situation in Sydney and will provide advice to other jurisdictions with an interest in these issues as they unfold, including Canberra and Newcastle, where CAF light rail vehicles are also in service.

I would like to take a moment to assure the Assembly that Canberra Metro already proactively manages its fleet to ensure that our light rail vehicles are safe, well maintained and not experiencing any serviceability issues. Under the current contract with Canberra Metro, the consortium is required to have safe and serviceable LRVs available to deliver services. Canberra Metro is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the LRVs, including maintaining compliance with all relevant standards and repairing damage, until the end of the PPP contract term in 2038.

That brings me to our contingency planning in the event that a similar issue to that experienced in Sydney were to emerge in Canberra in the future. If an issue were to be discovered, the first line of defence would be to remedy these issues during the normal LRV maintenance cycles. I note that the ACT maintains a fleet of 14 LRVs, with 12 vehicles required to run services on the standard timetable. This provides contingency to maintain services in the event that a vehicle needs to be taken out of service for maintenance. If multiple vehicles needed to be taken out of service for longer rectification works that could not be managed within normal maintenance scheduling, the frequency of operations may be reduced.

In the unlikely event that all vehicles had to be taken out of service concurrently for an extended period, services would be replaced with buses. This reflects the existing light rail replacement protocol, which has been activated several times this year during the construction of the Sandford Street light rail stop. In this event light rail services are replaced along the corridor with buses which mirror the light rail route and stops. While we recognise that Canberrans love light rail, the replacement bus services have been shown to be an appropriate and effective way to keep Canberrans

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